Hope For a New Weight Loss Strategy?

Protein Intermittent fasting

If you are seeking a weight loss strategy to get healthier, protein pacing and intermittent fasting (P-IF) are popular options.

This combined method helps you lose some pounds while also improving your body composition, boosting metabolism, and promoting long-term health.

So, it makes it a good choice for obese and overweight people with related health problems.

Also, there is an ongoing clinical trial studying whether this dietary approach is as effective as it claims to be.

Study overview:

An active trial is trying to measure the effects of protein pacing and intermittent fasting (P-IF) on different health markers in 40 obese or overweight women.

This trial will be 8 weeks long, and it is going to analyze changes in body composition, blood glucose, lipids, anti-aging biomarkers, hunger levels, and gut microbiome.

All participants are split equally between men and women, and only a single dietary intervention is followed throughout the study.



People will be divided into two groups: one following a P-IF diet and the other a heart-healthy (HH) diet.

The P-IF diet involves calorie restriction (1500 calories/day for women and 1800 calories/day for men) with protein pacing and intermittent fasting.

The protein pacing consists of 4 meals per day for women and 5 meals per day for men, followed by a fasting period with limited caloric intake (~350-450 calories/day).

The HH diet (heart-healthy diet), known for its benefits, includes calorie restriction (1200 calories/day for women and 1500 calories/day for men) without specific fasting requirements.

Phase breakdown

During the first four weeks, the P-IF group will be split into two subgroups. One subgroup will follow five days of protein pacing and two days of intermittent fasting.

The other will follow six days of protein pacing and one day of intermittent fasting.

From the 5th week to the 8th, both subgroups will switch to six days of protein pacing and one day of intermittent fasting.


Extended follow-up

After the starting 8-week period is over, the next 12-week follow-up period begins.

The next phase will record long-term weight loss and any improvements in the body composition of those participants who maintained their weight loss during the previous 12 months.

This study design will be enough to show the positive impacts of both protein pacing and intermittent fasting with an exercise routine on gut health and weight loss.

Importance and Novelty

Previous studies have already shown the impact of protein pacing with intermittent fasting mixed with moderate caloric restriction.

This new study is focused on the benefits of low-sugar diets on brain and gut health.

Diets like ketogenic, paleolithic, and Mediterranean are all low-sugar and have become popular because of their health benefits.

If you reduce your overall carbohydrate intake, especially simple sugars, you can improve cardiometabolic health and also lower disease risks linked to high sugar intake.

An important point of long-term weight loss success is the inclusion of a safe and realistic exercise program.

The study’s exercise regimen includes walking, stretching, and simple bodyweight exercises like sit-ups and push-ups, performed four days a week.


What is protein pacing intermittent fasting (P-IF)?

As you can tell by the name, protein pacing intermittent fasting (P-IF) is based on two parts, as it combines both intermittent fasting and strategic protein intake.

IF is actually cycling between periods of fasting and eating. But P-IF goes beyond that and includes wisely eating your protein throughout the eating cycle.

This means that you should eat protein-rich foods or snacks at an interval of every 3 to 5 hours.

There is proof that P-IF can help with weight management and gut health [ref].

Research has compared the effects of P-IF and caloric restriction and found that P-IF could lower body fat while also maintaining muscle mass [ref].

Also, P-IF can help improve gut health, which will influence satiety and metabolic health. However, more evidence is needed to study the long-term effects of P-IF.


Does Protein Intermittent Fasting Work?

To manage weight loss the combo of intermittent fasting with a high-protein diet could be useful.

Intermittent fasting is changing between periods of eating and not eating, which might encourage the body to change from using sugar to burning fat for energy.

Protein is needed because it helps maintain muscle mass which could be used as fuel during intermittent fasting.

This is why researchers suggest that this method could be more effective for weight loss than just cutting calories alone.

There are also extra benefits beyond just losing weight as we know that eating protein during intermittent fasting can improve gut health and help you feel full, which can lower hunger and cravings during fasting periods.

If you are thinking about trying protein intermittent fasting then you should talk to a doctor or a dietitian to create a plan that fits your personal needs and health goals.

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

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